As the wise Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future.this is known as Fashion Week”
Fashion week is one of the best times of the year in New York, from the shows, to just seeing the streetsyle all over the city! And the good news for smaller bloggers is that it’s entirely possible to attend shows now, with the rise of the Microinfluencer! But that being said, PR Managers who create those invite lists are BUSY people, and you have to pitch yourself just right to snag that invite!
Keep reading below for my step-by-step system that’s gotten me into some amazing shows in the past few years, even as a blogger with under 10K!
6 Weeks Out - Research The Shows + Schedule
Depending on that days you plan on attending, check out calendars like the CFDA Fashion Calendar to see which shows are going on those days. Keep in mind that not all of the shows will be listed on this, and they’re usually big designers, so also check out apps like GPS Radar for smaller designers (who still have great shows!).
Make a list of the one’s you are able to attend (I recommend starting a spreadsheet, it will come in handy later!) and jot down what time each show is and location if that’s available.
5 Weeks Out - Curate Your Contacts
Take that spreadsheet you made earlier and dig up the PR contact of the brand either by going on Modem, (They list contacts each year, since brands will often use an agency or production company for fashion week) or by digging up the PR Manager for the brand itself. They will often forward your email to thier agency if they’re not handling it in-house, but always best to go straight to the source if you can!
If you’re having trouble finding a contact, look up past press releases from the brand, and at the bottom there will usually be an email for a PR person, or at the very least, you now know how thier emails are structured and can plug a PR-persons name it if you’ve found them separately.
For example: If you’ve found out that the PR rep at Kate Spade is named Sally Jones, and you’ve found an email for someone else at the company name Bob Smith structured Bob.Smith@KateSpade.com, you can pretty easily assume that Sally Jones’ email follows the same format.
4 Weeks Out - Plan Your Outfits
Once you know roughly the number of shows and days you plan on attending, you can start prepping outfits. If you’re attending in February, I highly recommend going with a warm coat and more practical footwear. (Yes, it’s Fashion Week, but you’ll be walking a ton, and standing outside in lines usually for up to an hour, and NYC gets COLD) If you’re attending in September, you have a lot more freedom, since the weather is nicer, but I’d still leave the stilettos at home.
One great resource is using something like Rent The Runway Unlimited, where you can select some designer pieces to wear a head of time, I’ve used this quite a bit, especially to grab some stylish coats in the winter!
Or, if you have relationships with certain brands or boutiques, you could always reach out and ask to borrow pieces for the week! This usually takes a prior relationship, but you can always start one!
2-3 Weeks Out - Request Invites
About 2-3 weeks out is a good time to start sending emails to PR contacts asking for invites. Make sure yours is unique to each brand, short enough that a PR manager will actually read it. Here are a few good tips for a pitch email:
Make it snappy - 2-3 short paragraphs maximum
Give a quick bio - elevator pitch on who you are. 2 sentences max
Give stats - Make sure to include all your blog and social media numbers
Give links - directly link all websites and social media. Make it as easy as possible for them
Make it personal - look up a recent press release, launch, or anything recent about the brand and include 1 sentence mentioning you liked it. It makes the email much more genuine and shows you did your homework
Include past coverage - If you’ve written about NYFW before, even if it’s only covering shows you watched online, include a link to it! It shows your writing skills and knowledge of the fashion industry.
Tell them it’s your ‘dream’ - make the email about what you can do for them, not that it’s your lifelong dream
Make it too long, or give unnecessary information. PR Managers read thousands of these, so it should be unique but too the point
Send the same email to everyone - PR managers can spot a blanket-email within seconds. Make sure you personalize the email to the brand
1 Week Out - Follow Up
If you haven’t heard back from them about 7-9 days before the show, send a short follow up email. Just 2 sentences saying you’d love to attend and are excited to hear back.
2-3 Days Out - Finalize Schedule
You should have heard back by now, and be able to finalize your schedule, outfits, and travel for the shows. Keep in mind that NYC traffic is insane during the week, and sometimes the subway, while not as glamorous, might be faster, and these shows will not wait to start!
Then get ready for an incredibly fun, whirlwind of a week! See you there babes!